Darul ulum deoband is the same place where sheikh saaleh al shaykh went couple of years ago and mentioned it is the citadel of Islam - http://www.arabnews.com/news/527401
This article has been doing the rounds and certain quarters have used this information in favour of their twisted thoughts and ideas. Individuals who are not Salafi and or the people of innovation, every so often use such incidences to rise from the woodwork, professing their detrimental and self proclaimed opinions in this Beautiful Din, which are in essence rooted in two dangerous thoughts, 1.a false attempt to show the disarray and contradictions in the Salafi manhaj and 2. To present their version or understanding of the Salafi manhaj or principles which are unquivocally based on the manhaj of the people of innovations and desires.
It is shameful for these people to present these things to the Salafi's, as Barakallahu Fik, we learn our Din from the very same Ulama. These are some of the answers to such claims and some understanding and we pray that the people spreading such things have the decency to come back to us as opposed to playing hide and seek. Thus the answers are as follows.
1. The article is from a newspaper, and there is no direct evidence in what was said as they are not the exact words of Shaikh Saleh. The article was authored by a Ghazanfar Ali Khan, we do know who he is or what is background is, nor his religious leanings except that this is his intrepetation of the words. The article is also 2 years old when Shaikh Saleh went.
2. The article begins with the the Islamic Affair minister and no doubt Shaikh Saleh Aal Ash-Shaikh is the MINISTER of Islamic Affairs and therefore as part of his role and thus duty is to visit Muslims in other countries whether it is deoband or anyone else for that matter. Working closely with them on the generic issues with the Muslims. The Muslims in all of the countries have always worked together when it comes to central. Issues which govern and affect all Muslims, so this is nothing new. A minister is a deputy of a government and when the ruler or leader of the country appointments a person, the minister fulfil their roles in a professional capacity on behalf of the government and not personal.
3. As a minister of islamc affairs he can go to them to give them dawah, bring them closer to the truth from their falsehood etc etc. Although the Shaikh is a minister he is also a firm and strong scholar with decades of knowledge under the tutelage of some of the most knowledgeable scholars of this Ummah. Also note he was visiting the country and not just the Dar al-Ulum of Deoband
4. The Shaikh allegedly said “My visit underlines the keenness of Riyadh to communicate with Muslims in various parts of the world, as well as to boost interaction between Muslims in the Kingdom, represented by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and India,” This is not an endorsement but rather a welfare call by the previous Muslim Sunni government of Saudi Arabia. There are other reasons for this, namely the internal strife within the Kingdom due to the havoc and chaos caused by the Khawarij renegades, opposition from the other hostile countries eg Syria, Iran and the Khawarij ISIS.
5. He allegedly described Dar al-Ulum a citadel of Islam. Well, we would expect after 159 years of teaching they were surely teaching Islam and no one said they were preaching a different religion. Having an old institute such as deoband with funding from Deobandi's around the world and a central learning place for a great number of Deobandi's from the surrounding countries. There is no praise here.
6. The main purpose of the visit was to show Muslim unity against terrorism and the global tentacles of the evil ideology of the Khawarij. Also on behalf of Saudi Arabia to show india, the rulers and leaders of Saudi Arabia are here to help the Muslims despite them being Deobandi or Barelwi, whilst living amongst the idol worshipping Hindus, who in recent years had escalated their atrocities against the innocent Muslims.
7. The madrassah of deoband has gone through a number of internal rifts with a handful of factions. The current leaders have calmed down whilst the others are adamant in their hatred for the people of Tawhid and Sunnah. The current rectors of Deoband have a different approach, more Ikhwani like, but other supporters and followers of Deoband were mortified and livid with Shaikh Saleh's visit due their hatred for Tawhid and Sunnah and it's people.
8. Shaikh Saleh Al Ash-Shaikh is from the lineage from Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and the rectors of Deoband are from the offspring of Hussain Ahmad Madani, a prominent scholar of Deoband who not only disparaged Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab but also raised falacious accusations against the call of Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. (Refer to his al-Shihab al-Thaqib). How ironic that from the progeny of the Shaikh, a powerful Shaikh in his own right visits deoband and gives them Dawah. It was not a social visit because he went in the capacity as a minister of Islamic Affairs.
9. Shaikh Saleh is well aware of their belief and their corrupt beliefs and hence his dawah to them and as a Scholar it is permissible for him to go them and give them dawah as we should give dawah to everyone, even if they are Jews or Christians. No one said Deobandi's are Kuffar.
10. You will not find a Deobandi scholar, no matter how big he is giving a lecture in a Saudi institute, other than their usual circles. Shaikh Saleh may have visited them due to political protocol and it's fantastic that he did, in order to give them a taste of the creed of Ahl al-Sunnah.
11. The people who use this visit as a thing have short memory spans. They forget what Shaikh Saleh is about. He is about the pure, pristine and clear call of Islam, ie the Tawhid of Allab and Ittiba of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wasallam. When the Sufi Alawi Maliki wrote his book against the Saudi authorities telling them they need to fix certain notions titled Mafahim Yajibu an Tusahahu, Shaikh Saleh Al Ash-Shaikh, Allahu Akbar lambasted and unleashed the most powerful and brutal academic response titled, Hazihi Mafahimuna. The book is riddled with refutations of the Sufi creed and practices, which both the Barelwi and Deobandi's are upon. Did the Deobandi's and the those who use this forget or develop some delusional amnesia!!!!
12. These people do not know Shaikh Saleh. Shaikh Saleh is as hardcore as the Najdi's comes, without any wavering on Aqidah and the belief system of Ahl al-Sunnah. If one reads his magnificent introduction to the book, al-Wajiz Fi Aqidah al-Salaf al-Saleh, spread over 10 pages or so, he repeatedly says the Aqidah of the Salaf us-Saleh, The manhaj of the Salaf us-Saleh etc etc again and again. The book authored by Abdullah bin Abdul Hamid Al-Athari has chapters and quote after quote censuring and rebuking the people of innovation and desires and from sitting with them. The same book Shaikh Saleh wrote an introduction for and highly praised the book!!!!!
13. How many other salafi scholars have visited deoband?? In its 159 years you will be hard pressed to find more then 10 even if that. So with face are people using this as an endorsement.
14. Is this all they could find? One ministerial visit to show endorsement of Deoband. If this is the case then is the most desperate attempt ever used by anyone to show an endorsement, if would be shameless to even refer to it as that.
15. Even after all of the above is somehow misconstrued, then we have a jama'ah of scholars who have refuted Deoband and Deobandism beyond the realms of no return????
These answers suffice for the intelligent and open minded Muslim.